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Last updated: 28 February 2010
This page is for user comments and information specific to the ETX-LS and LS (formerly known as the ETX-LS) models. Items that are applicable to all ETX models (RA, EC, AT, BB, PE, LS) is posted on the other appropriate feedback pages. If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or answers to questions posed here, e-mail them to me for posting. Please use an appropriate Subject Line on your message per the Site Email Etiquette. Thanks. Remember, tips described on this site may invalidate the warranty on your telescope or accessories. Neither the submitter nor myself are responsible for any damage caused by using any contributed tips.

REMINDER: Effective 1 March 2010, coverage of the LS models, formerly known as the ETX-LS, will end on the ETX Site. Since Meade removed the LS from the ETX product line in late 2009, it no longer seemed appropriate to provide support for the LS models here. Similarly, coverage of the AutoStar III will also end effective 1 March 2010. I will not be able to answer any technical support questions for the LS models. Existing feedback and technical support articles covering the ETX-LS, LS, and AutoStar III will remain available online.
Subject:	LS6 is back
Sent:	Wednesday, February 24, 2010 22:22:53
From:	blkhole (
My New replacement LS6 arrived today. UPS brought it to the door then
tried to extort another $30 for custom clearance from me. I pointed out
that it was all paid in advance and not COD. I removed the bill of
lading from the box opened the bill up and pointed out to him on the
bill where it says customer pays nothing shipper has paid all costs.
With some muttering he took the cod label off and left. One up for the
good guys. There is also no duty on any telescopes coming into Canada
from the US. Any how the telescope Looks good...a different paint finish
Blue sand blast and a larger CCD camera cover. Haven't tried it yet but
will get out in the next couple of days to run it up for first light.
Added some new fixes and modifications onto my Meade LS info page on
facebook, one is how to easily fit a finderscope instaed of a red dot

Thanks Mike will keep you posted

Mike here: Just curious: was your original model an "ETX-LS" and is this one labeled with just the "LS" name?


My original LS was s/n 100392 this one is s/n 102903 and yes it still
has Meade ETX-LS on the stick on decal on the optical tube. I find the
most difference in the paint finish, not the high gloss easy chip stuff
but a harder sand blast lighter blue. Also I actually found a way to put
a finder scope on without altering the telescope tube itself, this is
for people that don't like the red dot finder. I have attached a couple
of photos. One shows where to fit a finder mount, the new CCD camera
cover, Piece of celo tape on sd card to aid removal, enhanced paint.





Subject:	GPS  location on surface
Sent:	Tuesday, February 23, 2010 00:10:57
From:	blkhole (
Do you know if the GPS satellites are harder to pick up the further
North you go. If this is in fact the case and the LS telescopes are
setup and tested in Mexico, they might just not pick p the signals when
they get up here to Canada. As the satellites are geosyncronous they
don't actually move (move with the earths rotation) from a set location
on the ground. Maybe we just have bad satellites in some location? I'll
have to pull a satsearch out and find out how many are left servicable
and where they are. We should be able to get a surface view of the earth
with good and dead spots.
Mike here: Most everything you ever wanted to know about the Global Positioning System is here: The satellites are NOT geosynchronous. The 24 satellites provide worldwide coverage but reception at any specific location can be affected by many factors. I recall riding in a GPS equipped car in Seattle, WA several years ago. The navigation system had us several streets over from where we actually were. The problem was likely signal reflection/interference from the tall buildings.
Subject:	Re: Review: Meade ETX LS 6
Sent:	Monday, February 22, 2010 16:34:40
From:	steve nastos (
Happy and healthy new year.

After a relatively short winter break(for Toronto) I've taken out my
Meade LS 6, just to recap I purchased an ETX LS6 last year. You've been
so helpful to me I thought I'd keep you up to date. It had a faulty GPS
unit. After dealing with a less than friendly customer service I sent
the scope back to the US and got a new one after paying an addition $80
for customs. Updated the firmware to 1.2g and was pretty happy with the
results. Alignment was constantly off but not by much. I never
successfully got to calibrate the sensors. I like to think I'm
relatively tech savvy but I never once successfully figured out how the
calibrate sensor worked. Do you know of any instructions anywhere (Meade
or otherwise) on how to use the Autostar III calibrate sensor option.

I'm just about to upgrade the firmware to version 1.3 and hopefully that
will make the alignment more accurate.

I'll keep you posted.

Once again, thank you for your help.

Mike here: I don't have a LX back from Meade yet but I believe you follow the onscreen prompts when doing the CALIBRATE SENSOR. Unless I'm thinking of a different calibration step.


Thanks for the quick reply.

I don't remember exactly what the autostar asks for after choosing
Calibrate Sensor. But I do remember I struggled with it night after
night.Toronto is scheduled for cloudy days for the next while, but I'll
try out the new firmware (if it installs correctly now) and try to
calibrate again soon.
Thank you for your help once again.
Mike here: I'm betting that it prompts to center Polaris.


What would I do in a situation like that? Do I manually move to Polaris
or do I use the go to. And what if Polaris isn't visible?
Mike here: Follow the prompt on the screen. Since it is just comparing Magnetic North to True North, center it with the AutoStar.


Thanks Mike. I'll give it a try soon hopefully!
Mike here: If Polaris isn't visible, two choices: don't CALIBRATE or fake it if you know where True North is.
Subject:	So what was your final verdict on the LS?
Sent:	Thursday, February 18, 2010 14:53:26
From:	Charles Hall (
Sorry to hear you're not going to try and support the LS model on your
website. But I know trying to cover all the bases can feel like a real
chore when you were really only in love with a few.

But now that you've "been there, done that" with the LS scope, what was
your final verdict? Is this one of those products that will be fondly
remembered in the future? Or so buggy that some future model will blot
out the memory of the original LS?

It seemed like most of the feedback seemed to concern customers fighting
with the LS to get it to work as advertised. That doesn't bode well for
a product whose advertising makes it seem like a lead pipe cinch to
install and use. Plus I visited an actual Meade dealer last Fall and
he'd never even heard of it. He didn't seem real interested when I tried
to describe it either!

Plus it didn't seem to get any buzz in the magazines I subscribe to.


Charles Hall
Raleigh, NC
Mike here: I don't have a "final verdict" yet. Meade still plans to return it to me for that. As to the seemingly negative feedback, keep in mind that most users (of anything) will write when they need help or when something is wrong. Few people write to sing the praises of any product. Certainly, there have been some "version 1" product hiccups but Meade is addressing those.
Sent:	Tuesday, February 16, 2010 17:22:41
From:	Roger Smith (
I just wanted to thank all of you for your kind assistance regarding the
issues I recently experienced with my new ETX-LS telescope.  I also
wanted to update you as to my progress on resolving the problems.

I eventually located a mini SD card at Tiger Express and proceeded to
format it to FAT 32 and downloaded the v1.3 firmware to it.  I installed
it in the scope and .... nothing.

Shortly thereafter, I finally received an SD card from Meade customer
support (after 2 weeks of waiting).  This time it downloaded to the
scope without any difficulty.

All functions now appear to work except one critical doesn't
pick up GPS signals.  I've tried it in various locations, both in the
city and in the open country.  I've avoided buildings and cars, hydro
wires etc, and still nothing.  I've also re-loaded the v1.3 firmware
again and still nothing.

At this point I'm realizing I might just have a lemon.  I've owned it
since January 15th and it still hasn't worked as advertised.

I've had a few attempts at manual alignment and it works ok that way. 
I've also finally had the opportunity to do some viewing through the
unit and was impressed with the clarity, so I'm still cautiously hopeful
that at some point it will work the way it was intended.

I've formally advised the dealer, Khan Scopes, that I want to return the
unit as defective (my consumer right in this jurisdiction), but I
haven't had even so much as a courtesy reply.  Khan is an exceptionally
poor representative for Meade in this country.  I intend to let Meade
(and other potential Khan customers) know that.


Roger Smith
Mike here: Sorry to hear that the first miniSD card didn't work. What size is it? 2GB is the max for the LS telescope. As to the GPS, are you seeing "Satellites = 0"?


The SD card was not over 2GB.  It was however, a Micro SD inserted into
a Mini SD adaptor.  Maybe there was some issue with connectivity?

I do not get the message "Satellites = 0".  I actually connected a video
monitor and it displayed a screen with a graphic of a satellite and a
progress bar on the bottom of the screen.  The progress bar showed that
it is attempting to locate satellites (confirming the message I see on
the handbox), but it never connects.  Once it reaches the end of the
progress bar, I then get a message to (1) connect via GPS or (2) enter
location and time manually (I think there may have been a 3rd option but
can't recall right now).   If I select option 1, again the cycle

Ironically, while I was attempting to get it to connect via GPS, I
actually saw at least 3 satellites passing overhead!  My cell phone,
runner's watch and car navigation are all GPS equipped devices and all
of these picked up signals where I was located.
Mike here: Perhaps the card adapter wasn't getting fully seated in the card slot.


It is a questionable fit with the micro/mini setup but it seemed to be
ok. Fortunately the card that Meade provided got me this far.


From:	richard seymour (
Roger Smith wrote:
> I eventually located a mini SD card at Tiger Express and proceeded to format
> it to FAT 32 and downloaded the v1.3 firmware to it.  I installed it in the
> scope and .... nothing.  

Does "nothing" mean that the red light on the ETX-LS power switch blinked
(and nothing -else- happened)
or not even that?  (i.e. power light did not come on, or what?)
Usually a dubious miniSD card shows up with the blinking light.

"Nothing" is too ambiguous a description.

I have purchased 3 chips (two miniSD, one microSD with an adapter)
All of them worked.
BUT ... a friend sent one they'd bought... and even though it looked "fine" from Windows
(visible and readable files, etc)... it would NOT boot the ETX-LS.
It's quite possible that it had "bad blocks" in the initial 7000 or so reserved for 
behind-the-scenes FAT tables (etc) which the ETX-LS is overly sensitive about.

> Shortly thereafter, I finally received an SD card from Meade customer
> support (after 2 weeks of waiting).  This time it downloaded to the scope
> without any difficulty.
> All functions now appear to work except one critical doesn't pick
> up GPS signals.  I've tried it in various locations, both in the city and in
> the open country.  I've avoided buildings and cars, hydro wires etc, and
> still nothing.  I've also re-loaded the v1.3 firmware again and still
> nothing.  

Reloading the firmware probably won't help.
Try pointing the scope due east or west.
if that doesn't achieve a fix, try hovering your hand about 6 inches above the GPS unit.
I've had both of those operations improve the speed-of-fix.

How are you -powering- the scope?
IF you don't have any C-cells in the battery tray, put two in the leftmost slot.
That will provide power to the gpS unit's almanac and time-of-year clock so that each 
session will not be a full "cold boot".
GPS receivers have to be "on" for about 15 minutes to receive the updated ephemeris to 
assist in current and future acquisitions.
(yes, it's not in the manual)

The "Satellites=0" message was removed between v1.2 and 1.3

good luck


From:	blkhole (
One way to determine for sure if your GPS is working or not. If you have
a small hand held GPS unit place it on the optical tube of your
telescope in the horizontal position. Turn it on and wait to see if it
recieves any GPS signals. This is what I had to do to determine if in
fact it was a none working GPS/Antenna. In my case the hand held picked
up 7 to 8 satellites where the telescope picked up none. I have also
tried a GPS signal booster (cannot be used in the USA) in close
proximity to the telescope GPS unit and this helped. The telescope ony
needs the GPS location at the start of operation to locate its position
on the Earth, after it has that location it doesn't matter if it loses
the GPS signals because they have done their job. If you are going to be
using it from one location all the time I would suggest programming in
the GPS co-ordinates manually. This still doesn't mean that you
shouldn't get the GPS unit replaced if it is faulty.
Clear skies


One more note... i was testing LX200gps operations tonight.
The first two sessions could not achieve a gps fix in 10 minutes and 5
minutes respectively, i then entered time/site by hand.
The next session got a fix in 2 minutes
the next session got a fix in 30 seconds
the final two sessions got fixes in 10 seconds each.

That was across a two hour period.... GPS was positioned the same way each time.
(it was polar mounted on a wedge, but i swung the forks to put the receiver "on top".)

GPS reception can be erratic.

have fun
Mike here: I've been (pleasantly) surprised with GPS reception from iinside my SkyShed POD observatory with the LX200-ACF. When the telecope was mounted in Alt/Az I never had a failure, even when the dome was closed. It always got a good signal within seconds. Now that I have the telescope mounted in Polar (using the recently installed wedge tilted for 32 degrees latitude) I've been surprised that I still get good reception, even when the telescope forks were pointed at the North Celestial Pole.
Subject:	meade ls question
Sent:	Sunday, February 14, 2010 10:43:40
From:	Josh (
I own an etx 105 pe and really enjoy it. However, I am a person with a
spinal cord enjury and it is sometimes difficult with my balance and
holding myself up. Plus in cullmination with my balance and bending over
my fine motor skills in my fingers make it difficult to bend over and
align the telescope. I am really intrigued with the ls because if it
works correctly I wont have to hassle with that stuff and  my experience
would be much better. Anyways, I am on disability and obviously with
household bills would be diffcult to afford  a ls.and particulaly an
ls-8 You hae dealt with meade for years, do u think they would be
generous enough to donate an ls-6 or even an ls-8 to me? Or do u know
any programs that could help me out. I would obviously provide
appropriate documentation for proof , but this would be something I
would be grateful for. Aother thought I had is that I would be a great
spokesperson for Meade for people with disability's. Well, I hope u can
help me out with this or have any ideas how i can make this possibly
Josh Rhines
Mike here: First, with your disability, how do you plan to set up a larger and heavier telescope, especially an 8"? If you are going to permanently mount the telescope in an observatory, you probably want to consider an LX90 or LX200. As to any programs for the disabled, contact Meade directly.


I usually have my aids help me out with carrying it outside for me.,
Although it is difficult sometimes for me to hold myself up and align
it, it's easier for met to do it because most of them are
technoligically illeterate. How much bigger would the 8 inch be compared
to the 6. I would love to get an observatory but cant afford it. plus
with the ls alligning by itself i dont want to deal with struggling to
centering the alignment stars with an lx 90 or 200.
Mike here: The 8" will be considerably larger and heavier than the 6". But, as you say, the LS will align itself (most times).


ok thanks. i still cant believe u havnt gotten ur scope back. have u
thought about having them send u the 8 inch at  no extra charge. i mean
it seems like it's been taking WAY to long
Mike here: Yes, it has been several months since I returned the evaluation unit to Meade.


wow they sent u a free evaluation unit, maybe they can do that for me,
that would be nice
Mike here: Well, start a Meade product support web site, make it popular and useful, and then after several years (my Site has been going since 1996) perhaps they will.


well i definately cant argue your point, u deserve what u get because im
sure u have definately helped their business
Mike here: I hope I have helped telescope owners. That is why I have continued the ETX Site.


there is no doubt u have, u have helped me in the past

Subject:	Meade removed the LS from the ETX product line ?
Sent:	Wednesday, February 10, 2010 02:21:45
From:	Peter van Grijfland (
I have put this question on the Facebook for Meade
" On the Weasner internetSite you can read: Meade removed the LS from
the ETX product line in late 2009. What does it all mean ? "
The answer from Meade is:
" Peter,

Noted your question. Feature for feature, the EXT-LS6 and the LS6 are
the same telescope. Only the ETX moniker has been dropped from the
product name.
The original ETX series remain unchanged, with models at 60mm, 80mm,
90mm and 125mm.


Brent Kikawa

Marketing Director "
So Mike what is true with the EXT-LS6 product line.
Peter van Grijfland
Mike here: That is pretty much what I quoted from Meade on the ETX FAQ page in January.
Subject:	LS coverage
Sent:	Tuesday, February 9, 2010 16:55:30
From:	blkhole (
Hi Mike Does that mean that after Mar 1 2010 there will be no support
from your site for the LS at all, even when you get your LS back from
Meade. Don't suppose you could have a seperate link for the LS. You not
answering questions on the LS is that your decision or has Meade said
Mike here: Totally my decision. I will update my LS comments once I get the telescope back from Meade. But that will be it for any ongoing LS coverage on the "ETX Site". If anyone starts a Meade LS web site, I'll be happy to link to it.


Seems a shame for something that was run better than Meades own forums
on the LS.. Thanks for all your input and for taking the time to listen
to all us complainers out here. I guess we finally chewed your ear off.
Mike here: Thanks. But as I've mentioned several times over the past many years, I'm not interested in making my web site the end-all support site for all telescopes. Although, thanks to the tremendous support and contributions of many many many visitors, the site does have a lot of valuable information for lots of telescopes and their owners.


I have set up a facebook page as a Meade LS info page and was wondering
if I could put some of the tips on there from your site for the LS or
link to your site from that page. I'm making it a Q&A page with some
photos only here's the link for anyone coming to your site I have
nothing to do in the days so maybe I can be of some use here.!/pages/Meade-LS-info-page/346363190184?v=wall

Mike here: Feel free to link to any tips. That way, visitors to your page will always have the latest should I post updates to the tips.


I have set up the facebook page and it is open to don't
have to join facebook to get into it. The first page lets you ask
Questions about the LS telescopes and get answers when we know them, but
it also allows others to answer the questions. If your question
developes a mind of its own and we get a lot of discussion on a topic a
discussion post on your question is started on the discussion page. We
have a FAQ, and info about software updates, where to get them from and
how to install them. Also links to your archives and tips. Please let
people know that it is available and free to use. They may also upload
photographs of problems and successes for others to see. Hopefully
people will use it and we can build a successful data base of LS
information and tips.
Clear Skies

Subject:	RE: Power Lost errors while slewing
Sent:	Monday, February 8, 2010 08:49:38
From:	David Carter (
After 15 straight cloudy nights I was able to use the telescope Saturday
night and with new batteries I did not experience the issue!!!  Thank
you for the coaching and to anyone that may read this post, don't trust
the "battery utility" because my old batteries still registered at 66%
or so.
Mike here: 66% is probably too low for reliable operation, especially when slewing, which draws more current.
Subject:	Getting card in and out.
Sent:	Sunday, February 7, 2010 23:16:21
From:	blkhole (
Quick fix for people having a problem getting the mini SD card in and
out of the slot. Computer motherboards have small plastic jumpers on
them and some of these jumpers have flat plastic tabs. I found that if i
put a spot of crazy glue on the end of one of these tabs and stick it to
the top of the mini card it doesn't effect the mini card but it made it
a hell of a lot easier to get the card in and out of the slot.
PS still waiting for arrival of my new telescope #2.

Subject:	Your Etx-ls
Sent:	Friday, February 5, 2010 00:25:16
From:	Eddie Kennedy (
Did you ever get your Etx-ls scope back from meade yet. I have been
blessing with my scope it worked OK right from the start. I make a habit
of testing scopes before I take them home from my favorite store OPT.
Those guys are assume, anyway I hope your got your scope and it works as
Eddie Kennedy
Mike here: Not yet. I'll update my report when it comes back and I have a chance to use it.
Sent:	Tuesday, February 2, 2010 18:23:43
From:	Richard Seymour (
To echo Mike's suggestion, the card slot -is- a "miniSD".

When you're inserting it into the scope, the copper fingers are -away-
from the scope's body (so you can't read the label as it's going in).

I find i usually need a tool (broad flat screwdriver blade or small
allen hex wrench) to push it that little bit extra into the slot to get
it to "click" into place.
Likewise, i need to use the tool to get it to "pop" out later (and then
tweezers to actually grab the card for the full extraction).
It's not a tight squeeze or anything like that to get the miniSD into
the slot, but it's -exacting- to get it lined up  correctly.

I worry about the "bad flash".,.. if the memory is really sick, then
re-flashing it from the miniSD card may not be a permanent fix.
But it -is- the first thing to try.

If you -do- happen to send it back to Meade, be warned that they are
(reportedly) sloppy about properly preparing Customs forms to indicate
it's a re-patriation of Canadian-purchased equipment.  Other owners have
had to pay duty on the returned-from-repair units.

Here in the USA, it's possible to have Customs inspect a gadget -before-
you send it out-of-country, so that you have a before-the-fact
serial-number-based document to prove that it started in your home
country in the first place.
I don't know if Canadian Customs has such a service (i'd think that they
Messing that up is the likelihood of Meade simply -replacing- the entire
scope, so that the returning serial number differs from your
"pre-inspected by Customs" unit.

good luck
--dick (who has successfully loaded from a number of miniSD and
microSD-in-adapter chips.
MiniSD's are becoming as scarce as hen's teeth...)
I'll try to find and send a link to one of the sources of miniSD chips
that i've used (in a couple of hours)


From:	Roger Smith (
Great advice.  Thank you.  Hopefully I'll avoid some pitfalls on this
journey thanks to your collective experiences.


Here is where i have purchased true miniSD cards which have worked for
firmware-booting the ETX-LS.  I note that they have Canadian pricing,

(you have to format the miniSD to FAT32 before letting ASU fill it).
((the ETX-LS cannot use memory 4gb or larger, and it is not compatible
with SDhc))

good luck
Mike here: I have also dealt with the Flash-Memory-Store and have found them excellent.

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